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The big fin-ale: #MyFishGY lights up Grimsby

10:08 am, Friday, 17th February 2023 - 1 year ago


Catch world-class projections of community’s fish designs ‘swimming’ around town in spectacular two-night ending to year-long project

An absolute whopper of an event lands in Grimsby, North East Lincolnshire, in the evenings of Friday 17 February 2023 and Saturday 18 February 2023. Everyone is invited to pop down between 5.30pm and 9.30pm, on both nights.

Make sure you catch the two-night finale of #MyFishGY – this spectacular free, outdoor event is the culmination of the year-long #MyFishGY project, and it’s a joyful, vibrant celebration of Grimsby, its heritage, people, creativity and technology.

For the past 12 months, the people of Grimsby have been designing their own fish and submitting them to #MyFishGY. Each design is then placed into a ‘Virtual Sea’ where it becomes part of a ‘living’ moving work of digital art. For the finale, the fish designed over the past year will be projection-mapped on to iconic, historic buildings over the course of two evenings, transforming the architecture of the town and creating a mesmerising display.

Now, everyone is invited to come and spot the fish ‘swimming’ in the biggest, boldest light projection the town has seen.

The finale – which is also the closing creative programme event of the successful Grimsby Creates three-year creative and cultural development programme – is expected to attract up to 4,000 visitors to Grimsby town centre across the weekend.

You may have seen a taster of the big event at last February’s ‘guerrilla-style’ animated light projections all over the borough, or popped down to the ‘Virtual Fish Tank’ at Grimsby Minster last October half-term – this next family-friendly event at the end of the February 2023 school half-term holidays promises to be the biggest and boldest yet.

Sean Canning is the artistic director of #MyFishGY and works with fellow organisers Event Show Support. Sean said: “We’d like to thank every single person who’s designed a fish and submitted it to be part of #MyFishGY. We’re very proud of everyone who has taken part and we can’t wait for you all to see the finished work of art. The project has been a great success, it’s engaged people, and together they’ve helped create something beautiful that everyone can enjoy.

Community support and engagement has been magnificent over the past year. Community engagement partner Our Big Picture has helped us to run creative workshops and community events all over North East Lincolnshire, resulting in almost 1,000 pieces of artwork from events alone. People have also been doing their own designs at home and uploading them to our website and we’ve been popping up all over the borough with world-class, hi-tech light installations that give people a chance to see their fish swimming in a beautiful, mesmerising ‘Virtual Sea’ with thousands of others.

“February’s finale will be the biggest, brightest light show yet – with the designs projected on to one of the tallest and most iconic buildings so far. In addition, there will be loads of fun family activities, independent traders, and local food and drink offers.”

Councillor Tom Furneaux, portfolio holder for culture, heritage and the visitor economy at North East Lincolnshire Council, said of the #MyFishGY project and finale event: “I cannot think of a more fitting way to end the wonderful Grimsby Creates programme – which has been fantastic. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has played a part. The involvement of our Grimsby people, young and old, in so many different creative activities and events has been wonderful to see.

“#MyFishGY has been one of the highlights. From the Lincolnshire Show last year to art and culture events in Grimsby Minster, people have been gathering to draw their very own fish, which we will see in all their glory animated on our buildings. It will be a great display and I cannot wait to see it.”

Other activities already confirmed for the finale #MyFishGY weekend include art exhibitions, crafts, food and drink stalls, and even a free opportunity to make, fry and eat your very own Grimsby fishcake!

The weekend will also offer a preview of an upcoming reportage exhibition exploring the Cod Wars by artist Olivier Kugler and writer Andrew Humphreys, called Friends, Foes and Good Companions. It explores the Cod Wars through the recollections of people who lived through them, and it reflects on the past and present impact on the fishing industry. This is an IWM 14-18 NOW Legacy Fund commission in partnership with Grimsby-based arts and heritage organisation Our Big Picture. The Legacy Fund is a national programme of 22 artist commissions inspired by the heritage of conflict and created in partnership with Imperial War Museums and 14-18 NOW, the official UK arts programme for the First World War centenary. The full exhibition will take place from 28  April 2023 to 20  August 2023 at Grimsby Fishing Heritage Centre and throughout the town as a trail.

Proud Grimbarian Jimmy Johnson leads the #MyFishGY project and is a director of Grimsby-based Event Show Support CIC. Jimmy said: “It’s time to see two years of planning and development come to life. The people of Grimsby have created this #MyFishGY finale. Now, we’ve got the privilege of displaying it and presenting their artwork in an amazing way. It’s been a great way of showcasing Grimsby’s community spirit and a real pleasure to see people come together to create and enjoy the displays so far. I hope to see as many people as possible down at Alexandra Docks on Friday and Saturday evening to enjoy the final show.”

In his capacity as a director of Event Show Support CIC, Jimmy also works on large-scale events all over the world. He added: “As well as interesting and beautiful artwork, the use of technology in #MyFishGY is a fascinating story in itself. As far as we’re aware, this is the first time this technology has been used in this way, in a large-scale community collaboration project. It’s been developed and created by Bluman Associates especially for this installation – it really is world-class. We began by looking at technology inspired by some of our big events and rock’n’roll shows. We recently worked on shows with artists including Dua Lipa, Little Mix, Green Day, The 1975 and Eric Prydz at Creamfields – they all integrate videography into their performance in a big way. We’ve turned it around and have got highly-skilled, amazing local and national technicians to digitally enhance the work of thousands of people from Grimsby.”

#MyFishGY  is a collaboration between Event Show Support CIC, and artistic director Sean Canning, of production company Eight-Freestyle, with Pod Bluman of Bluman Associates providing the technical knowhow to bring people’s designs to life. Arts development organisation Our Big Picture provides support for artists and community engagement, and the whole project sits under the umbrella of North East Lincolnshire Council’s £3.3m three-year cultural and creative development programme Grimsby Creates. It is funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and administered by Arts Council England and North East Lincolnshire Council (Grimsby Creates).

February’s two-day celebration event is based around Grimsby Fishing Heritage Centre, Alexandra Dock, DN31 1UZ. It is free to visit and open to all between 5.30pm and 9.30pm on Friday 17 February 2023 and Saturday 18 February 2023.

FACEBOOK @myfishgyINSTAGRAM @myfishgy

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